Photo from Elliot Koubis

I am proud to say that my Google Maps list contains 210 of the best restaurants in London and I am going to share some of the best contenders with you right here.

I have spent the last two-and-a-half years amassing a master list of all the restaurants I’ve tried, or want to try, in London. Nevertheless, I imagine that, like many people who are interested in food, the number of restaurant recommendations you’ve received or read about has exceeded your capacity to record them in an easy-to-use format. Scribbles won’t help when you’re hangry in the centre of town, or when a friend asks for area-specific recommendations. Although I am loath to act as a Google brand ambassador, the ‘list’ function on Google Maps is a game changer.

In the ‘saved’ function of the app, any restaurants you save appear on the map automatically, which makes finding a good place to eat on the hoof more intuitive. What is more, you can save excerpts from restaurant reviews or recommended dishes in the notes section of each entry. You can even share lists with friends to give them an insider’s guide to your own city or anywhere you have visited.

Using Google Maps in this way dovetails with our increasingly itinerant way of consuming food. To that end, here are three budget eats in central London that would suit a student on a day-trip from Oxford.

50 Kalò, Trafalgar Square

I’d like to thank my barber for this one: an award-winning Neapolitan restaurant run by pizzaiolo Ciro Salvo, located just off Trafalgar Square. Despite its central location, this is far from a tourist trap. My initial cynicism quickly evaporated when I spotted waitresses bussing out calzones bigger than American footballs with beautifully blistered crusts. Although their standard pizzas are excellent, especially the white-base pizzas, the calzones steal the show. I have it on good authority from the waitresses that the calzones taste even better if you ask the staff to bake them rather than fry them. While the restaurant does accept walk-ins, book to skip the dinner queues if you can. For £15 per pizza and a good wine list to boot, this place suits the pre-theatre circuit.

Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar, Leicester Square

Regional Chinese restaurants are enjoying a moment. Thanks to Fuchsia Dunlop’s ground-breaking work raising the profile of Chinese food, the public is slowly moving away from the Anglo-Chinese takeaway and is instead expressing an interest in the wide variety of regional cuisines that China has to offer. Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar remains a strong, if unassuming, contender in this field. I feel embarrassed when I think how many times I must have passed this place on the way to Soho or Chinatown, completely ignoring the chefs hand-pulling noodles by the shopfront, and not even registering the queue pouring out the door. Nevertheless, after someone suggested I go, it has become one of my staple suggestions for anyone looking for a reasonable and filling meal in the city centre. Go with a friend and order a soup with the lamian noodles (about the size of spaghetti) and a fried noodle dish with dao xiao mian noodles (thick and belt-like) to share, as well as some aloe vera juice to soothe the Szechuan chilli oil burn (if you add too much, like me). Given that it costs around £15 per person here, you won’t mind sharing tables with strangers swaddled in the thrum the dining room. Unless you want to have a quiet conversation, that is.

Somewhere for dessert: Mamason’s, Leicester Square

When you’re done at Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar, cross the road to Mamason’s, a Filipino ice cream place serving sweet treats until 10pm. Here, you’ll find ice cream flavours like ube (purple yam), black buko (black coconut) and queso (cheese). Get a boat with several scoops to try with your friends outside and choose your favourite. You can also order the ice cream on a coconut pie or even in a toasted bread called pandesal. Everyone I’ve introduced this restaurant to has come back for more on their own, so it’s worth braving the queues if you can!